Announcing New V-Features: Mentions/Replies and V-Mobile Site

Announcing New V-Features: Mentions/Replies and V-Mobile Site

by / / 46 posts

We’ve been busy at work on some new features for the community. When we announced the last set of features, we got some great feedback which was incorporated into this release. Some of you may have already noticed the features as we rolled them out silently over the course of the last two weeks, but we felt it prudent to announce them officially, now that they appear to be reasonably stable.

Several members have expressed the desire to be able to be able to subscribe to a service which notifies them of responses to their posts. Because Velominati is a community where everyone’s voice contributes to the conversation, we ultimately decided that having a system that notified readers (either via email or rss feed) in this way would encourage myopic behavior focused on responses only to specific posts rather than the whole conversation.  This would ultimately fragment the conversation and diminish the sense of community here.

However, the point is well taken that it can become quite difficult to identify responses to a particular post – a member’s own post or anyone else’s, for that matter. In an effort to improve visibility, we added two views which will hopefully help readers follow specific threads: @Mentions and @Replies.

@Mentions:

The @Mentions view is accessible by clicking the @Mentions link displayed on each post.  This will open a view which shows all posts for the article that mention the posts’s author’s name.

The @Mentions link


The @Mentions view

@Replies

The @Replies view is accessible by clicking the @Replies link displayed on each post.  This will open a view similar to the @Mentions view, except this view only shows those posts which used the Reply or Quote link to respond to it.

The @Replies link


The @Replies view

V-Mobile Site:

Marko has been the most vocal about the need for a Mobile version of Velominati, as he regularly accesses it from him iPhone. He graciously stepped up as the leader for this effort and provided all the requirements and did the bulk of the testing for it. Turns out he was totally right; after doing the math, this was revealed:

mobile-specific site = way more awesome than regular sites

The Mobile site has essentially all the same content with all the same radness on the regular site (Rule and Lexicon quickviews, photo and YouTube viewers), but provided in a streamlined (and faster loading) view when loaded from a mobile phone (you have the option at the bottom of every page to switch to the regular version if you prefer that.)  All the features normally visible in the layout are available via the menu at the top of the page. Please let us know if you spot anything a muck with the site, or if anything your rely on is missing.

The V-Mobile site: (l-r) Home, Main Menu, Posts, Categories

The major outstanding feature requested by the community remains the direct message capability, and once we work out some privacy and philosophical issues around that concept, we’ll release something to support that as well.

As usual, your feedback is welcomed as we’d appreciate any input you have.  If you spot any problems or if a feature doesn’t work as you expect it to, just drop us a note and we’ll see what we can do to correct it, or explain to you why it’s your fault and precisely why you’re an idiot.

Cheers.

// General

  1. I love the mobile site. I notice a couple of things on my Android 2.2 phone. The rule and lexicon quickviews don’t show up: the main page dims as if there is a new active window on top, but i dont see it even with scrolling. The photo and youtube viewers also seem to need some help: the viewer window is ‘frozen’ meaning I cant scroll or re-size and the close button doesnt work. The main page in the background scrolls under it, for example. The video does pop up as another separate window but it wont re-size. Lastly, links to videos (see for example ‘Train Properly’) dont show up well: not enough contrast in the text color for the link and the underline doesnt show up.

  2. Logging in now to the mobile site. Very excited about that, going straight on my home screen.

    Great work guys.

  3. Nice job! I’ll certainly take advantage of the mobile site. I often view Velominati on my iPhone, and reading was certainly a lot easier than posting, though it can be done. I’m excited that it has been streamlined now.

    I also respect your viewpoint about not allowing notification. Even though I was one of the people who suggested it, I can certainly understand that this site in particular is really made whole by everyone’s comments taken together, and splitting them into bite-size bits diminishes the overall impact of everyone’s commentary. Well played, sir.

  4. Now if only the popup javascript was used in a correct and accessible way, it would almost be a legit site!

  5. Is the mobile site 11 speed?

  6. @Cyclops
    Electronic.

  7. @Marko

    Marko, you are the BB30 of my life. You are the bacon to my burger. You are the hammer to my cat. I love you man.

  8. @mister_fisher
    Thanks for the feedback. I don’t actually have an android phone but downloaded the Android SDK which has an emulator and I’ll see what I can do. Thanks!

  9. @huphtur
    I’m not quite sure what you mean; can you elaborate? I assume you are referencing my oldschool hack approach to JS coding and my reluctance to start using JQuery.

  10. Cool. I’m glad you chose to avoid doing the notification of replies. I do think it encourages more of a community sense to not bother with that. If you want to know what is going on…come to the site and read what folks are saying. For the most part the Velominati are both sharp witted and knowledgeable about cycling, which makes for good reading, banter, and conversation.

    I do wonder if the mobile option will fragment and diminish the community in the same way however. If someone is out riding their bike and punching in replies from their phone as they pedal, it seems like this could water it down. Or sitting at a bar and ignoring their friends in order to punch in some funny reply to an article. It’s not my site, but this is just my opinion. Then again, I also don’t see the need to have the internet in my pocket or hands at all times, so I guess I’m just a Luddite.

    Either way, thanks for all the work on the site & the strong community.

  11. @Cyclops
    That’s nice of you. Especially given I don’t eat burgers, don’t have BB30, and dislike cats.
    Duder, how’d your holiday party turn out? Was the top tube beer rack a success?

  12. Mobile = christmas all over again! Question: Is the mobile site supposed to load automatically if Velominati is accessed from a mobile device or is there a distinct mobile URL? The full site seems to load on my Blackberry.

  13. @Nate
    It just loaded automatically for me with the same URL. at the bottom of the page there’s a slider which lets you turn Mobile Theme off.

  14. @frank
    Here is an article that explains things better: http://www.dustindiaz.com/behaviors-and-semantics/ or search for “unobtrusive popup” and you will find several more examples.
    jQuery is nice, but there are tons of other js libraries out there that can do just as good of a job.

  15. The Android browser is nearly identical to the iPhone frank it too uses webkit, you could just disable the lightbox thingy on the mobile site, it would probably work better all around that way anyway. I believe this is what @huphtur is referring to.

    I was hoping you would disable the javascript that fades in the main photo for each blog entry as it’s a rather slow animation on mobile and imho is a bit annoying on the desktop site and sometimes partially blanks out the photo in Chrome and Safari on Mac (webkit again).

    Oh and I just noticed that you got rid of that annoyingly slow method of displaying links to old comments on the rules, thanks!

    This is awesome btw, I noticed it a few days ago.

  16. Ron:
    I do wonder if the mobile option will fragment and diminish the community in the same way however. If someone is out riding their bike and punching in replies from their phone as they pedal, it seems like this could water it down. Or sitting at a bar and ignoring their friends in order to punch in some funny reply to an article.
    Either way, thanks for all the work on the site & the strong community.

    If someone somehow use an iPhone to read this site, AND type a reply on a touch screen, while cycling – well, they are more skilled than me.

    All joking aside, I truly doubt you’re going to see a drop in comment quality, as it was already possible to read and post from the site before using a smart phone, this just changed the formatting to make it easier. I don’t think sitting at a computer at a desk vs. reading and replying on a phone inherently adds or detracts from the quality of comments.

    Also, as a smart phone owner, I never use it during rides unless I’m going through a new area and want to stop and look up a map to plan my route better. Mostly I drag it along in case there is some sort of emergency, since I do a large majority of my riding solo. As much as I love my iPhone, it has never occurred to me that I’d want to post to a website while out on a ride – I’m on a ride, dammit! A key feature of riding is for some quality alone time away from computers, other people, life/job stresses, etc.

  17. @Nate
    What BB are you using? I can make sure the user agent is in the mobile device list.

  18. @frank
    Blackberry browser on a Blackberry Bold. Thanks!

  19. @mister_fisher, @michael
    Ah, stupid holdover bug from some tweaks I’d made specifically for the iPhone on the old site. Should be fixed; quickview overlays for Rule, Lexicon entries, and Photos are still there, but they are removed for videos.

    Some of that wide content still renders funny on the mobile device and I’ll get to it at some point, but this should at least be giving you the basic functionality now. Let me know if it is better now.

  20. @Nate
    Does it work now?

  21. @frank
    Yes, sir!

  22. @frank
    I am gonna catch shit for this but..where the hell is the link for the mobile site???

  23. @Scott
    If you use a supported mobile device, it should just load automatically. If it doesn’t let me know what device you use and I’ll see what I can do to get it working for you.

  24. Allow the Canadian to cue Frank’s favorite sultry Canadian songstress, but does anyone else see the irony of all these upgrades to a site that champions a long bygone and magical past about a machine (and the people who ride them) whose simplicity is its beauty? All this makes me yearn all the harder for wool shorts (I’ve never worn) and more pain on the next ride (watching the snow tumble down).

    Thus spoke der Steampunk…

  25. @Steampunk
    To your point, I tried my best to find a stone tablet that I could just mail to everyone, but the format didn’t work out and I was getting killed on shipping charges. So we switched to digital. As long as we’re using Electronic shifting on this site, it might was well be crisp shifting, yeah? But yes, I prescribe an extra dose of Rule #5 to anyone spending too much time here and not riding their bikes!

    BTW, are you a professional curmudgeon, or do you just play one on the interweb nerd box?

  26. frank:
    @Scott
    If you use a supported mobile device, it should just load automatically. If it doesn’t let me know what device you use and I’ll see what I can do to get it working for you.

    Duh, I’m an idiot..working perfectly on the ole blackberry…thanks!

  27. @Marko
    Oh yeah, there was plenty of brew flowing and was too much food eatin’. I need to lose about 15 in the next two months.

  28. Blackberry? Can you still buy those?

    Did you see the released Angry Birds for Blackberry finally?

  29. frank:
    @Steampunk
    BTW, are you a professional curmudgeon, or do you just play one on the interweb nerd box?

    Canadians are typically so nice, to a fault. Steampunk must be the exception that proves the rule.

    (Marko ducks and runs)

  30. @michael

    Loving that!

  31. @Marko
    I think @Steampunk is the fault.

    (Frank trips Marko and runs off, applying the “Bear” Principle)

  32. great job, all you fella’s that make it happen
    kudo’s and great work!

  33. @frank
    The videos work well now – thanks. I still dont see the Rule and Lexicon quickview overlays. I wonder if there is a browser setting on my phone that’s not right.

    Good stuff.

  34. @frank
    Shipping charges?? Harden the fuck up, strap those bad boys on your back, and start pedaling. No wonder you live in an empire in decay. The same thing happened to the Romans, y’know.

    I’m not a professional curmudgeon; that would mean I was getting paid. I’m also not simply a curmudgeon, but I play one in real life.

  35. mobile site is awesome! i still dont get the other update, but i dont talk much anyhow

  36. Thank Merckx! The mobile site works great on my iPhone and is now on my homepage. This makes it so much easier to prove to someone that they have broken a rule!

  37. hand clap.

  38. How cool is this? Sat watching highlights of the cricket (again!) and posting on the new mobile site. Great work guys – thanks very much!

  39. Is there anyway of turning it manually from the normal site to mobile site? My iPhone first showed the mobile site and the slider to turn it off but now shows normal/old/unexciting version on my iPhone! Any ideas guys?

  40. @Dexter
    I had this as well (using a Palm Pre) and the only way I found of going back to the mobile site was to enter http://www.velominati.com/?theme_view=mobile. This took me back to the mobile site, and I’ve not touched the slider again!

    It would be useful if there as a mobile link at the bottom of the normal page with the other links, but it’s a minor thing.

  41. @Unica
    Cheers Unica. I’ll give it a go

  42. Well late here, but Super prestige live updating capabilities… Has that been mentioned? It’d be a kickarse addition, rather than waiting for one of the Keepers to slog through everyone’s obscurely titled answers (often posted in two or three different threads), and then awaiting corrections… And then needing to find the post of the latest score update…

    Just a thought.

    And if Cam Meyer holds onto the leader’s jersey tomorrow, will he be the number one ranked rider in the world? Or do scores carry over from post Worlds scores?

  43. Hey I just subscribed to the site and this is my first post! I was hoping that The Velominati develop a podcast. I think it would be really cool then I can listen when I’m doing an 80km in Penticton BC. I think it would catch on big time!

  44. I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also visit this web site on regular
    basis to obtain updated from newest news update.

  45. Great work, thanks for all the effort you chaps put into this place. Chapeau.

  46. @michael that made me cackle out loud, superb!

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar